Renewal is a word that presupposes something has lapsed and needs a restart. It’s a word that becomes a yearning, for us when we become tired or jaded. Renovation is a similar word that describes our aspiration for a new beginning after the isolation of COVID and all the other changes we’ve endured over recent years. Whether you prefer renewal or renovation doesn’t matter; both words will resonate equally as a worthy objective as we emerge into a rapidly changing world.

Recently I was able to make an interstate trip to visit the second addition of a Great-grandchild to our family. A fine young man in the making, a cousin to my first Great-granddaughter. It was a real treat, a joyful and happy encounter with the newest part my loving family. And then it was such a thud to come home to a cold, empty house. Seeing the vibrancy and the joie de vivre of my children and grandchildren and their young progeny has heightened the lack of that quality in me! It was a pleasantly busy time as the family ensured there was something to keep me on the go each day. Reminiscing now about the joy of that visit is wonderful and serves to remind me that we need to make our memories, not just imagine them.

Daydreaming is pleasant but doesn’t usually achieve or promote any physical activity, such solitary mental gymnastics can easily lead to lethargy; a state of mind and body that’s neither good for me nor those with whom I have contact. Often, we need something else to jolt us out of feeling introspective and miserable, particularly after all the isolation periods of the last couple of years. Certainly, I seem to have lost my youthful spark, my mojo, as they say these days. Don’t want to get up in the morning, can’t be bothered doing anything much at all…. every little chore is a challenge. As my readers will be aware, my prayers to a caring God continue to sustain and strengthen me, so parts of my psyche are well nourished. However, and despite my daily dedicated walking regime, there remains the need for some other mental, physical, and social rejuvenation, so I’ve been thinking on how to achieve that.

Clearly, I need to spice up my life a little, while I can. I console myself with the belief that to enliven myself is not selfish. I have convinced myself to make a justifiable attempt, while I am well enough, to be a person with a better and hopefully happier disposition. Now, having just had that tiny taste of travel again, I am hungering for a more comprehensive personal overhaul, a sort of remake. What’s more, I have determined to do something about it

Now, having convinced myself of the need to invigorate my surly self, I have begun to plan a longer break. Yes, I know that might be a bit risky in these coronavirus days, but I will press on and look for a possible ‘escape’, a time away from where I live. Dorothy, my late beloved wife, was not only a wonderful cook and soulmate but also an excellent home finance manager. The result of our combined frugality now enables me to afford a diversion from the grief of her loss, and the means to escape the solitude of the last few years. I’m on the hunt for a holiday! I may well discover most of our Australian vacation venues are overbooked for this year, but – nothing ventured, nothing gained. Or maybe next year….

I realise that many of my readers are fully occupied in caring for their loved one and cannot easily take that kind of timeout for a holiday, almost at any time. And I also know that it would probably then be a solo break accompanied with some feelings of guilt; I remember that, too, only too well. Separation can be hurtful for you both, but the fact that you still have each other and can be together is the consolation. You are using the time you have, now, to reinforce your love and to share whatever you can. But do take a break, just a few days might suffice – some space is critical for you both! That’s not being selfish, it’s helping your partner, too, because when you are in good spirits and more placid, only then you can be a blessing to them and others who share your life-space.

Maybe you, too, could consider reinventing or rehabilitating yourself to become more valued to those who love you. Don’t let yourself relapse – take a break of some kind, do your best to renovate and renew!